Nine IT Outsourcing Houston Tips: What You Need to Know Before Outsourcing

Nine IT Outsourcing Houston Tips: What You Need to Know Before Outsourcing

 

Why Should a Houston Business Work with a Houston IT Outsourcing Service Provider? 

With the constant threat of hackers and hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, it's not hard to see why Houston executives have resorted to outside services assistance or solutions to help manage their companies' IT functions. Additionally, IDC reports that 74.6% of business executives mention "data security" as a chief IT concern. According to the Data Governance Institute, 158,048,276 records have been compromised due to security breaches over a 2-year span.

MSP services companies can offer a wide range of solution services. Technology is constantly changing over time but working with an outsourced IT services provider gives your company solutions to keep up with the times.

The top reason for outsourcing is expertise. When it comes to security, SMBs do not have skilled personnel to be able to support the IT environment properly. The outsourcing company will provide you with skilled pros who are both talented and have enough experience to provide quality services. These experts will monitor digital data safety and carry out frequent antivirus and security software checkups as part of their advanced security services. The goal of an IT MSP is to guide and help companies streamline their processes and workflows by providing updated tools and technology solutions that make operations run smoother. 

With outsourcing IT services, costs are more predictable and managed as well. For instance; when you use a hosted server it offers you to fix the expenditures at some predetermined amount every month. There are no maintenance costs or equipment expenses apart from fixed amounts. IT companies have the ability to offer access to equipment and services at lower costs than your business may incur to get it alone. Savings from outsourcing services can be really dramatic over time.

IT Outsourcing companies can provide solutions to businesses without employee availability, and office space, in order to serve clients in different time zones throughout the day. Consulting a managed services provider prevents IT problems from overwhelming your team and disrupting your company’s workflow. Your professional team of IT outsourcing experts maintain steady productivity and address problems – you just focus on growing your company and providing service and solutions to your customers.

 

What Kind of Houston Businesses Should Outsource Their IT?

Small to medium-sized enterprise in Houston can benefit the most from the services a Houston IT outsourcing service company can offer.

When smaller Houston businesses get hit with a cyber-attack or data breach, they struggle to bounce back more than a large corporation might. The cost to recover is often too high for them to face and survive. An estimated 60% of these businesses that fall victim to cyber-attacks wind-up closing (permanently) within six months of the attack.

Houston SMBs should try to find Managed Services Providers who are locally based. Consulting local IT services in Houston is more cost-effective and oftentimes, they are more willing to develop a budget-friendly service plan than a national or global MSP would be.

Another benefit of hiring and consulting a Houston-based Managed Services Provider company: they know the common threats in the area, and consulting their team will quickly provide you with relevant security advice and solutions including a proper setup for the services your company requires. You want a professional team that’s suited to combat issues often faced by your competitors, as well as one that could show up in time and in person to provide solutions if needed during an emergency.

Hiring and consulting a Houston outsourced IT services team serves as a vital defense tactic, not just a way to avoid tedious IT problems.

 

Houston Companies Should Consider This When They Outsource Their IT in Houston 

However, we've found that evaluating the costs and risks of IT outsourcing services can be uncomfortable for client companies. According to analyst firm Aberdeen Group, 76% of company clients said that vendor management efforts and costs were much higher than expected. 51% reported that their outsourcing provider was not performing to expectations. Information Technology accounts for almost 30% of the outsourcing industry.

Therefore, it is smart for a company to undergo a "sourcing analysis" to compare its internal risks, services levels, and costs to those of external vendors and IT support services companies in Houston. It has proven to make the difference between improving - and damaging - your career life. 

 

Tips on Consulting With a Houston Outsourcing Provider

Establish outsourcing business processes outcomes to ensure measurability and accountability. Determine the business results and solutions you wish to achieve through IT outsourcing services. Ask yourself, "Why did I outsource my IT team?" You should establish company objectives for IT outsourcing services with clearly defined goals. Having scheduled checkpoints to review the status of your outcomes is an easy way to ensure that the provider meets your standards. Otherwise, you run the risk of a he-said, she-said confrontation.

Determine the "true" financial savings. The cost of doing business has substantially increased in recent years. While the trend to digitize documents has promised to streamline processes, many are overwhelmed by the related computer problems that hamper productivity. According to Accenture, 25% of executives who outsourced their IT reported first-day improvements in business processes in addition to the cost. If reducing costs is one of your objectives, make sure the vendor's promise of lower costs doesn't compromise the efficiency of service and revenue. Just one hour of downtime costs a 25-employee firm an average of $7500 in lost productivity alone. As one smart IT director of a mid-sized law firm told us, "We pay a premium for IT support to get premium service in return."

Choose a proactive managed services professional partner. Clients expect businesses to keep pace with their demands, and still function within very strict budgets and timelines. To combat this, an experienced computer network consultant should be able to identify problems and provide solutions, not just react to them. Merely reacting to problems can leave your employees wasting time waiting for tech support. The services provider should have proven skill levels to accomplish tasks, training with certifications, or client references to ensure you avoid becoming their "guinea pig". Be certain that their services meet your standards by asking the services provider to offer a trial period. A proven vendor should have no problem offering a trial of their service or software. Be wary of those who do not.

Select a services provider that thrives off your success, not your "problems". Make sure your IT services provider doesn't achieve their goals until you achieve yours. "Reactive" IT consultants promise to resolve your IT-related issues. But at what cost? How do you know he or she is truly solving your problems instead of milking them? If a provider's fee structure is directly linked with the number of computer problems, excuse yourself from the relationship. Avoid unnecessary stress. Review the service-level agreement (SLA). How will the provider monitor, measure, and enforce service? IT services providers should present you with accurate and complete information with realistic quotes and proposals.

Team up with a business partner, not just an IT services provider. Focus as much on strategic service outcomes - like improved profitability, productivity, and business growth - as you would upfront costs, especially when working with vendors that provide remote PC support, data backup, and remote network monitoring. Make sure the provider understands how you intend to use the deliverables that they are agreeing to provide. You should work as a team. 80% of executives surveyed by Accenture expressed commitment to permanent outsourcing. Partner relationships tend to have lasting power. "Providers" are usually only a temporary - and potentially costly - fix.

Use a shared-risk approach. According to Gartner, clients see a 15% to 20% reduction in costs by moving to shared IT services. But proceed with caution. Good IT service partners should help you achieve your goals - at their own risk and cost. Ask what kind of recovery and redundancy means the team provider offers. The objectives to be achieved by outsourcing managed services must be quantifiable and established as criteria at the start of the contract. If the customer can compare the service or performance with the pre-established objective, then the benefits of IT outsourcing are clear. Failure to meet the established service levels must result in a predefined penalty.

Achieve scalability & predictability. Some industries - such as the legal sector - are more prone to merging or disbanding, requiring administrators to take proper action to ensure that the integration or relocation process is done quickly and without disruption. Lesser commitments to fixed costs make outsourcing an attractive alternative. Your outsourcing services provider team should meet your growth requirements, not just your current situation. Be sure to review the service offerings to make sure that you only pay for what your company needs, allowing for scalability as needed. According to Gartner, you could be paying as much as a 50% premium for so-called "added benefits".

Request data when you need it. In many IT outsourcing relationships, such as a disaster recovery consultant, the vendor may protect its client data and applications at a secure, offsite location, such as a data center. This safety measure should provide added security - not added stress. For your peace of mind, make sure your service provider provides tapes of your data when you need it. Quarterly tapes are typically the standard.

Have an "out" strategy. Lastly, remember that your outsourced services provider is working for you. One of the greatest anxieties in social commitments is the fear of being "locked in". The same can be said for business relationships. Create provisions that allow you to terminate the IT service outsourcing relationship if certain expectations fall short. Being held captive by an IT service consultant or outsourced provider can make you lose your sanity, and in many instances, your job.

See the full SmallBizTechnology.com article at: http://smallbiztechnology.com/archive/2009/09/9-tips-for-outside-it-expertis.html

 

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Andrey Sherman

Andrey Sherman

Andrey Sherman serves as Xvand’s vice president of technology and is one of the company’s co-founders. He is the leading architect of the Xvand system.

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